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-   -   Why is "Notre Dame" everywhere? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/why-is-notre-dame-everywhere-44346/)

Dave May 14th, 1999 11:32 AM

Why is "Notre Dame" everywhere?
 
Please forgive my silly question (and my ignorance) But, I was curious and I am not Catholic! Why are there cathedrals named "Notre Dame" everywhere in France? Does it have to do with history, a religous designation, or what? Please give me a short lesson on this subject, if you could. Thank you very much.

Emily May 14th, 1999 12:03 PM

Notre Dame simply means 'Our Lady', referring to Mary (Catholics pray to and worship Mary along w/ the trinity). Anyway, many Catholic churches (in usa) are named "Our Lady of Lourdes, of Visitation," etc. So the cathedrals are named for Mary, not necessarily the location.

Emily May 14th, 1999 12:03 PM

Notre Dame simply means 'Our Lady', referring to Mary (Catholics pray to and worship Mary along w/ the trinity). Anyway, many Catholic churches (in usa) are named "Our Lady of Lourdes, of Visitation," etc. So the cathedrals are named for Mary, not necessarily the location.

wes fowlere May 14th, 1999 01:32 PM

Dave, <BR>The cathedral name "Notre Dame" which translates as "Our Lady" in English refers to Mary the mother of Christ. "Our Lady" appears not only in the names of French churches and cathedrals but in most other languages as well. In Belgian Flemish: Brugges' "Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk" and in German: Munich's "Frauenkirche" both of which translate as Church of Our Lady.

lisa May 14th, 1999 02:13 PM

Yes -- which reminds me of my favorite "Our Lady" church name: in his "Lake Wobegon" stories, Garrison Keillor often mentions the local (fictitious) Catholic church, which is called "Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility."

JOAN DOYLE May 14th, 1999 07:01 PM

Dear Dave: All the above who translated the name "Notre Dame" for you are correct--but the one who explained that Catholics "worship" Mary, the mother of Christ went a little overboard. The correct term is "venerate." Catholics worship only God. Joan


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